The leader of the non-parliamentary opposition New Political Center – Girchi (Cone), Zurab Japaridze is going to change his name into Zurab Girchi Japaridze ahead the October presidential elections to represent his party.
Girchi Leader to Change Name Ahead Presidential Elections
By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, August 10
Japaridze explains that the Central Election Commission told him he could not take part in the presidential race as the official representative of Girchi, because the party has never taken part in the elections before.
For the party to have a right to name its presidential candidate, it must have taken part in the previous elections at least once.
Zurab Japaridze says he can run the race as an independent candidate, but he wants his party's name to be written next to his name on the bulletin.
For this reason, he decided to pick a middle name Girchi. Japaridze says he realizes that the Georgian legislation allows people to change their name only once.
“I have no problem to be called Zurab Girchi Japaridze for all of my life,” the politician stated.
According to him, the Georgian electoral legislation is tailored to benefit large parties and to prevent the entry of small players into the political arena.
He called on the Justice Ministry to timely reflect changes into his name, as the procedure usually takes 60 days and the elections are scheduled for October 28.
“I know the process takes long…but I ask you to carry out changes before September 1, to let me start my election campaign timely,” Girchi leader addressed the ministry.
Officially, there are seven presidential candidates including Japaridze:
Independent MP- Salome Zourabichvili, Movement for Construction – David Usupashvili, Shalva Natelashvili from the Labor Party, Nino Burjanadze, the leader of the Russia-affiliated Democratic Movement-United Georgia, United opposition candidate – Grigol Vashadze, and European Georgia – David Bakradze.